- The WHO says the tip of the Covid-19 pandemic is in sight for European international locations.
- The physique says Europe might quickly enter a interval of “tranquility”, because of excessive vaccination charges.
- Vaccinations has created widespread immunity, WHO says.
Two years after the outbreak of Covid-19, Europe might quickly enter a “lengthy interval of tranquility” as a result of excessive vaccination charges, the milder Omicron variant and the tip of winter, the WHO mentioned Thursday.
WHO Europe director Hans Kluge mentioned the respite was “a ceasefire that would convey us enduring peace”.
“This context leaves us with the likelihood for an extended interval of tranquility,” he instructed reporters Thursday.
Widespread immunity from vaccines and infections, mixed with the change of season, additionally places Europe in a greater place to fend off any resurgence in transmission he mentioned.
“Even with a extra virulent variant” than Omicron, Kluge mentioned.
“It’s potential to reply to new variants that may inevitably emerge — with out re-installing the sort of disruptive measures we wanted earlier than”, Kluge mentioned.
This was “to not say that (the pandemic) is now throughout”, however “there’s a singular alternative to take management of the transmission”, he burdened.
He cautioned that the optimistic state of affairs would solely maintain true if international locations continued their vaccination campaigns and intensified surveillance to detect new variants.
He additionally urged well being authorities to guard danger teams and to advertise particular person accountability, resembling social distancing and masks carrying.
With the extra contagious Omicron variant in circulation, infections have surged throughout the WHO’s European area, which includes 53 international locations, together with some in central Asia.
Some 12 million new instances have been registered final week within the area, based on the WHO, the best stage because the begin of the pandemic.
However confronted with a decrease stage of hospitalisations than in earlier waves, a number of European international locations, together with France, Eire and the UK, have introduced the lifting or a substantial discount of restrictions, regardless of report or very excessive instances.
Denmark on Tuesday turned the primary European Union nation to carry its home Covid-19 restrictions, adopted later within the day by Norway.
Talking on the eve of World Most cancers Day, Kluge additionally expressed concern over the “catastrophic impression” the pandemic has had on most cancers care all over the world.
Within the final three months of 2021, most cancers screenings and coverings have been disrupted by 5 to 50 % in all international locations surveyed, he mentioned.
“The scenario has improved because the first quarter of final yr,” he mentioned.
“However the knock-on impact of this disruption can be felt for years.”
He urged Europe’s healthcare authorities to make the most of the anticipated seasonal Covid lull to scale back backlogs in power care companies.